EU Foreign Ministers to Hold Emergency Meeting on Iraq, Ukraine Friday

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The European Union Foreign Affairs Council will convene for an emergency meeting Friday for talks on Iraq and Ukraine, the Union’s External Action Service said Wednesday.

BRUSSELS, August 13 (RIA Novosti) — The European Union Foreign Affairs Council will convene for an emergency meeting Friday for talks on Iraq and Ukraine, the Union’s External Action Service said Wednesday.

“[EU foreign policy chief Catherine]Ashton convenes extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council this Friday15/8 on #EU response to major crises focusing on #Iraq, #Ukraine,” the service said in its official Twitter.

France and Italy have been pushing for ministers to gather in Brussels to discuss the role of the European Union in Iraq, including potentially supplying arms to the Kurds.

Earlier today, France announced it would start arms supplies to Iraqi Kurds so that they can help the Iraqi government fight against Islamic State (IS) militants.

“In order to reply to the urgent needs expressed by the regional authorities of Kurdistan, the head of state [President Francois Hollande] decided, having agreed with Baghdad, to send arms in the coming hours,” the statement reads.

The Elysee Palace added that France reiterated its support to the prime minister-designate Haidar Abadi, and called on Baghdad to form a new inclusive government “representing all the Iraqi communities to fight efficiently against the Islamic State.”

France said it was also planning to “play an active role” in providing all the necessary assistance together with its partners to the new Iraqi authorities.

Earlier, Iraqi Kurdistan President Masoud Barzani asked the international community to provide his country with weapons to fight IS militants.

France has already sent humanitarian aid packages to Iraq and vowed to continue helping the country.

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